Letters into the Past

With time to spare during the long new year’s  holidays, I cleaned out the upstairs closets. In the small closet in the study, my writing room, on the top shelf, at the very back, I found four boxes marked “Old Letters”.

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAI haven’t opened them.

Inside those boxes are memories, some of them surrounding people who now only exist in my heart and mind, some of them written to a me that doesn’t really exist anymore, a reminder of a time that doesn’t really exist anymore, a time of pens and envelopes and stamps and trips to the post office, a time of waiting weeks or even months, instead of seconds, for updates on friends and family, a time when birthdays garnered more than a heads-up on Facebook, a time when people could spell and grammar mattered.

They sit on the shelf, blindly staring at me, daring me to look inside.

Part of me thinks, “They’ve been there for years. You’ve carted them through two apartments and two houses and you’ve never looked at them. Throw them away.”

Another part of me thinks, “That’s sensible. But what about the possibility that somewhere down the line you’ll want to read them again?”

Will I?

What would you do?

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